12 March, 2000
Today we re-deployed the underwater camera. It worked beautifully. We were able to view the video tape to get a better idea of the sea floor in site C. There were lots of sign of life: fecal pellets and detritus, animal made holes in the sediment, and algae and animals themselves. Among those we saw were: sea stars, peniagone, urchins, crinoids, and sea cucumbers. Underwater cameras help a great deal to broaden our understanding of the sea floor. Until recently our information has come from pulling up a very small sample of the ocean bottom in different areas. If you can imagine an alien trying to get an understanding of New York City and dropping a meter square box
down into the city to collect a sample. They might bring up a pedestrian, or a fire hydrant or a piece of a hot dog stand. None of those things alone would give the aliens a true understanding of New York City. Many of our oceanography samples have the same limitations. The underwater camera gives us a bigger picture of the sea floor environment.
Although the weather is clearing and the seas are calming down, Mustang suits continue to be our choice of deck wear. It is much easier to process samples now. Each time a box core sample of bottom sediment is brought on board, it must be sieved for fecal pellets and organisms. We measure and scrape of the first 5 cm of mud and use a sieve to wash the mud from it. The remaining detritus is collected and preserved for observation in the University lab. We then wash
and sieve the 5-10 cm layer of mud.
We finished site C today and steamed to site B to collect a new set of samples. Our work at site B began in the early afternoon.
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